No really. It's a girl look.
|Baby Susie, Panda Frog progeny 10lb 11oz born 23/08/2012|
It's been a long time coming too and with the poll results I can now confirm that those readers that thought it would be a Chestbuster, Hemaphrodite or a boy were wrong. Being a burly little thing, I could instantly see little Susie one day lobbing around sacks of malt and digging out spent grain from the mash tun (it might happen, you never know). But for the meantime I though it quite appropriate to open a beer, not just any beer though this one I had been saving for quite some time.
Yep, this one's come right from the back of the ageing cupboard, the oldest bottle of beer I own. The one that when I bought it, I didn't realise that this was probably from the last ever batch of Gale's Prize Old Ale ever brewed under an independant Gale's (before Fullers took it over and put on 500ml crown capped bottles). It's been with me through Christmas after Christmas, birthday after birthday, a graduation, my wedding even, another graduation and numerous 'Open It' events. It's one of the last of it's kind (given this was subjected to aging with the original microflora from the original brewer's wooden vats used to age POA since the 1920's and not the Fullers 'cleverly blended' version).
So what does it taste like? Could it by now have turned to flat vinegar? Or even explosive vinegar fobbing everywhere? Far from it. There's a lot of influence from organisms in the secondary here, you could call it almost Lambic-esque but without the sting. It opens creamy, with fleshy fruity boozy notes, sweet candy, mellow oak and cherries all lifted gracefully by a spritzy carbonation. The sweet cherry candy and oak notes then resonate in the slightly tart finish of subtle sherry-like alcoholic notes.There's almost a bit of Belgian sour red like character about it but the tartness isn't quite at that level.
In short this is pure fermented class. It's a beer thats developed over the years to become what it was meant to be. All it's rough edges and inbalances are gone. It's mellowed and fine tuned itself and stayed preserved to provide someone with an almost timeless moment. I probably won't ever get to try the same beer again. But it was worth it for the moment.